LAUDERHILL (CBS4)- The Lauderhill Fire Rescue Department is investigating an early-morning fire Saturday at an apartment complex they think was deliberately set.
The department said they reported to the fire located at 2920 NW 56 Ave at the Royal Palm Apartments at approximately 8:40 a.m. Captain Jeff Levy of the Lauderhill Fire Department said the fire was started in an elevator, and they are deeming it “suspicious.”
“There was a fire inside the elevator car and there really isn’t much to the elevator car that can really start on fire, and based on the amount of other arson fires that we’ve had in the complex that’s leading us to believe it was suspicious,” Levy said.
The fire comes after a string of arson fires in the same apartment complex, which contains four buildings, were reported.
The department said the last fire occurred Friday at a vacant apartment on the second floor. Three people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and residents of the buildings were evacuated.
“More than 12 people were evacuated yesterday,” Levy said. “However, 12 people required the assistance of the fire department.”
Levy said Saturday’s fire is the 14th arson fire within the last 12 months. He said they don’t know if the acts were committed by one person or multiple people.
“I dont feel safe,” said Lasharundra Wilfork, a resident. “I got kids here aint no telling one day when they set the fire it might set the whole building on fire and i’m way up on the third floor. How am I gonna get down.”
“You just pray and you wake up and you hope you gonna be ok,” said Sattoya Mills, a resident. “I mean what can you do?”
The building does not have surveillance cameras or security.
“It’s an ongoing process,” Levy said. “It’s an active investigation. We are actively seeking information regarding a lead or any information regarding the arrest of someone who is doing this. We are pleading for the public’s help before someone gets seriously injured or fatally killed.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 954-493-TIPS.